Written by Jonathan O'Donnell. Last updated July 2019.
Finding a student loan that’s the right fit for you or your child is a big responsibility. With all the options available in today’s marketplace, you may be questioning if you should go with a traditional bank, or whether you should turn to a lender with a more modern approach.
Here is a deep dive into student loan options from College Ave Student Loans. This non-traditional lender manages to bundle a technology-forward approach with a financially sound platform to offer maximum flexibility for borrowers.
Is College Ave the right lender for you? Let’s dig in to what this lender has to offer so you can decide for yourself.
College Ave stands out in two areas: flexibility and ease of use.
If you want extremely flexible loan repayment options, you should definitely consider looking into student loans from College Ave.
College Ave allows multiple repayment options. For example, if you’re a student, you can opt to make full-principal plus interest payments, interest-only payments, or flat payments of amounts as low as $25 per month while you’re still in school. Borrowers may also defer payments until school is complete.
If you’re a parent, you also have your choice of flexible repayment options while your child is in school, including full-principal plus interest payments, interest-only payments, or “interest plus” payments that allow you to set the monthly payment of your choice.
If you’re not sure what kind of loan repayment plan would be best for you, College Ave’s technology-forward approach can lend a hand. Their home page features an exceptionally user-friendly interface that uses human-speak (instead of bank-speak) to help you figure out what kind of loan terms might be best for you.
Use the handy pull-down menus to fill in some basic info such as who you are (parent, student, etc.), how many years of schooling are left, and whether you want to prioritize lower monthly payments or a lower overall loan amount.
From there, the site lets you use sliders to recalculate how different terms will affect your payments and loan totals. You can even email the results to yourself for easy comparison shopping later on.
It’s a great design, and it’s easy to understand, and it’s right in line with College Ave’s mission to make the student loan process more transparent.
|Loan Types||Variable & Fixed|
|Degrees||Undergrad & Graduate|
|Loans||Student & Parent|
College Ave cofounders Joe DePaulo and Tim Staley, both former executives from the top ranks at Sallie Mae, were frustrated that student loan offerings had failed to evolve over several decades. Along with a dearth of product options, they saw that borrowers were often confused and frustrated about the loan process.
DePaulo and Staley launched College Ave in 2014 with the goal of making student lending easier and more personalized. Two years later, Comcast Ventures stepped in to back the company with a $20 million investment.
While College Ave may be a relatively new player to the student loan market, that doesn’t mean it can’t compete with traditional lenders in terms of financial reliability. All of its loans are offered through Firstrust Bank or The Middlefield Banking Company, which are both members of the FDIC.
Side note: If you’re an ESPN watcher, College Ave may be a familiar name. The company recently sponsored in March 2017 'Bracket Genius', which was a quiz show on the ESPN network.
College Ave offers undergraduate, graduate, and parent loans for amounts of $2,000-$80,000 (up to 100% of the school-certified cost of attendance2).
Students must be enrolled in school at least half-time in order to qualify for an undergraduate loan.
|Credit Score||Annual Income
|Loan Limits (Undergrad)|
|Students w/out cosigner, min
|Min $2,000 -
Applicants must be 16 years or older, and students and cosigners must be citizens or permanent residents of the U.S.
Students applying without a cosigner must have a verifiable income of $35,000 or more.
You can select from variable or fixed interest rates. As of July 2019, undergraduate rates are 3.96%-12.94%1. Graduate loan rates are 5.22%-11.68%.1 Parents with strong credit can receive loan rates of 5.23%-12.27%.1
Note: All rates stated in this article include the auto-pay discount that is offered (0.25%)3
Students can pay back over 5, 8, 10, or 15 years. Parents may repay their loans in terms between 5 and 12 years.
There are no application fees or penalties for early repayment.
Cosigners may be released from the loan after more than half the repayment period has expired with no late payments, as long as the borrower can meet certain requirements such as proof of income and positive credit history.
Enrolling in autopay will yield a .25% reduction in your interest rate.
As with any loan, the faster you pay it off, the more money you’ll save. Taking advantage of College Ave’s early repayment options is a great way to save money over the life of the loan.
You will only need very basic info to get started with a College Ave application. Credit decisions are delivered in as little as three minutes.
College Ave puts a new face on student loans. A technology-forward customer interface helps College Ave stay true to its mission of transparency and ease-of-use, while still offering the backing of traditional financial institutions.
To learn more, go to CollegeAveStudentLoans.com
College Ave Student Loans Disclosures
College Ave Student Loans products are made available through either Firstrust Bank, member FDIC or Nationwide Bank, member FDIC. All loans are subject to individual approval and adherence to underwriting guidelines. Program restrictions, other terms, and conditions apply.
(1) All rates shown include the auto-pay discount. The 0.25% auto-pay interest rate reduction applies as long as a valid bank account is designated for required monthly payments. Variable rates may increase after consummation.
(2) As certified by your school and less any other financial aid you might receive. Minimum $1,000.
(3)This informational repayment example uses typical loan terms for a freshman borrower who selects the Deferred Repayment Option with a 10-year repayment term, has a $10,000 loan that is disbursed in one disbursement and a 8.35% fixed Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): 120 monthly payments of $179.18 while in the repayment period, for a total amount of payments of $21,501.54. Loans will never have a full principal and interest monthly payment of less than $50. Your actual rates and repayment terms may vary.
(3)This informational repayment example uses typical loan terms for a first year graduate student borrower who selects the Deferred Repayment Option with a 10-year repayment term, has a $10,000 loan that is disbursed in one disbursement and a 7.10% fixed Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): 120 monthly payments of $141.66 while in the repayment period, for a total amount of payments of $16,699.21. Loans will never have a full principal and interest monthly payment of less than $50. Your actual rates and repayment terms may vary.
(3)This informational repayment example uses typical loan terms for a parent borrower who selects the Full Principal & Interest Repayment Option with a 10-year repayment term, has a $10,000 loan that is disbursed in one disbursement and a 7.49% fixed Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): 120 monthly payments of $118.65 while in the repayment period, for a total amount of payments of $ $14,237.95. Loans will never have a full principal and interest monthly payment of less than $50. Your actual rates and repayment terms may vary.
Information advertised valid as of 7/1/2019. Variable interest rates may increase after consummation.
WE RESERVE THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE (IN WHOLE OR IN PART) THIS LOAN PROGRAM AND ITS ASSOCIATED SERVICES AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. CHECK WWW.COLLEGEAVESTUDENTLOANS.COM FOR THE MOST UP-TO-DATE INFORMATION.
Nitro College is not a lender and makes no representations or warranties about your eligibility for a particular loan or financial aid. The rates and terms listed for each lender are estimates and will change depending on your credit profile and other information you provide to lenders. Lenders are solely responsible for any and all credit decisions, loan approval and rates, terms and other costs of the loan offered and may vary based upon the lender you select. Nitro College receives compensation from lenders that appear on this site.